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Stlrs4Life 12-04-2007 09:00 PM

Steelers' Smith thinks DBs can handle Moss and Co.
 
Steelers' Smith thinks DBs can handle Moss and Co.

By Chris Harlan, Times Sports Staff

Published: Tuesday, December 4, 2007 12:55 AM EST

PITTSBURGH ? Steelers safety Anthony Smith has watched the Patriots on television and isn?t all that impressed with New England?s receivers.

He says the Bengals are better.

?We?ve faced some tough receivers, but I think these (Bengals receivers) are the best we?re going to face,? Smith said after Sunday night?s confidence-swelling victory over the Cincinnati Bengals, 24-10, making the Steelers defensive backs believe they now can stop anybody.

Yes, even the Patriots.

?They?ve got Randy (Moss) and the other little scat guy but they don?t have downfield threats like Cincinnati.?

These are the unbeaten Patriots that Smith is talking about ? a pass-first offense that?s on pace to shatter the NFL?s scoring record.

Fellow safety Tyrone Carter wasn?t ready to agree with Smith?s declaration.

Not one week away from the most-awaited game on the Steelers? schedule.

?Both teams have three talented receivers,? Carter said very diplomatically. ?Randy Moss is having a phenomenal year. And Wes Welker is having a phenomenal year. ... They?re going to create some tough match-ups.?

Still, Smith says Cincinnati?s tandem of Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh are better.

?No question,? he said. ?Really, (the Patriots?) only deep threat is Randy Moss. As long as we can contain him we?ll be all right.?

Sunday, though, Smith and his teammates in the secondary made certain the Bengals receivers weren?t much of a threat.

Quarterback Carson Palmer completed only 17 of 41 passes for 183 yards and no touchdowns, certainly an off day for one of the league?s more accurate passers.

The victory gave the Steelers (9-3) a commanding two-game lead in the AFC North standings with only four games still to play.

They?ve already swept Cleveland (7-5) and now Cincinnati (4-8), and could sweep Baltimore in the Dec. 30 season finale.

But minutes after Sunday?s victory, the discussion in the Steelers locker room had already turned to New England.

?There?s always going to be hype,? cornerback Ike Taylor said, refusing to enter the ?who?s better? debate. ?That?s what the media is supposed to do. But as a player you have to enjoy it but you can?t get caught up in it.?

Taylor faced Moss last season, when the former Pro Bowl receiver was playing for the Oakland Raiders. Moss made only two catches for 20 yards but the Steelers lost 20-13 when Ben Roethlisberger threw four interceptions.

?I did all right,? Taylor said. ?We lost, so I guess I didn?t do good enough.?

The Steelers success against the Bengals started with the pressure created by the linebackers, but the coverage provided cornerbacks Taylor and Deshea Townsend was outstanding.

Johnson had six catches for 86 yards and Houshmandzadeh had five catches for 42 yards. No other Bengals receiver had more than two catches.

?We let them know we were going to be on (the receivers),? said Carter, who combined with Smith to make 14 tackles.

?It?s not like the receivers were wide open. (Palmer) had to stick the ball in there tight.?

The key, Smith said, was that the Bengals receivers were intimidated by the Steelers physical defensive backs, with Smith being the biggest hitter among the group.

Houshmandzadeh dropped passes in tight coverage. Johnson backed out of bounds after a fourth-down reception, 3 yards short of the first-down marker. Chris Henry once rolled into a ball waiting to get hit.

?It has a lot to do with it,? Smith said, ?because they were ducking a lot. Houshmandzadeh thought I was going to hit him. I was going for the interception and he was still ducking.?

And when Henry rolled, Smith told him: ?Good move. Smart play. Way to get down. He just started laughing.?

Smith plans to use that same strategy for stopping Moss when the Steelers play the Patriots in Foxborough, Mass., on Sunday afternoon. It?s the same plan the two safeties use for every receiver:

Hit them.

?Our main thing is we have to be aggressive and hit them in the mouth, let them know that if they catch it we?re going to be there,? said Carter, who has been filling in for injured teammate Troy Polamalu.

?With any wide receiver, if you?re hitting them hard, they?re thinking twice. ... The most aggressive team wins those battles.?

If Smith were a receiver, would he be willing to take a hit from Smith the safety?

?That?s a tough call,? Smith said. ?Possibly being put out or playing the rest of the game? I?d take my chances playing the rest of the game.?


http://www.timesonline.com/articles/...a047097573.txt

The Duke 12-04-2007 09:10 PM

Re: Steelers' Smith thinks DBs can handle Moss and Co.
 
Oh, he's gonna handle Moss, with a very hard hit after making him drop a pass. I trust him to do that

But...not impressed? I think that's too much, but it's good to have confidence anyway.

What I'm worried about is Taylor becoming last year's idiot against Javon Walker. hopefully it won't, but it's still a little concern. if ike can single handedly take moss outta the game( I know, very improbable) I think they can sure stop the rest of the receivers

gotta love ike's coments though

Quote:

“I did all right,” Taylor said. “We lost, so I guess I didn’t do good enough.
2 catches and still wants to do a better job. I love you Ike

Quote:

“It has a lot to do with it,” Smith said, “because they were ducking a lot. Houshmandzadeh thought I was going to hit him. I was going for the interception and he was still ducking.”
Fear, that's gonna be the main element in this game. the pats don't get scared easily so this could get really interesting

that said...keep hitting them in the mouth Anthony, and make them pay!

I can't wait for this game!

jjpro11 12-04-2007 09:11 PM

Re: Steelers' Smith thinks DBs can handle Moss and Co.
 
i cant say i enjoy hearing smith talk like that against a team notorious for using bulletin board material.. tomlin and lebeau may have a word with him about that. but i do like his confidence. i just hope he backs it up sunday.

Hines0wnz 12-04-2007 09:25 PM

Re: Steelers' Smith thinks DBs can handle Moss and Co.
 
He, Ike and Troy just need to be ready for the bad couple of passes Brady will throw in this game. They need bare minimum one INT in this game to keep the passing game honest. Brady usually heaves at least 2 deep passes per game to Moss and from what I have seen, they could be intercepted by a DB paying attention.

tony hipchest 12-04-2007 09:52 PM

Re: Steelers' Smith thinks DBs can handle Moss and Co.
 
a bit off topic, but i wonder whos gonna replace porter as the "mouth" of the team?

in tomlins presser he singled out 1 player who did exceptionally well in sunday nights game- deshea townsend who was singled up most of the game vs tj houshbagdumpah.

single him up on welker of stallworth (he usually only gets toasted by wr's 6 inches taller than him), double randy and the other wr and have 6 guys to rush the passer or 4 to rush and 2 to cover faulk and watson.

it can be done. im glad smith and carter have all the confidence in the world cause its no advantage to be down our 2 starting safeties.

geo123 12-04-2007 10:01 PM

Re: Steelers' Smith thinks DBs can handle Moss and Co.
 
I know there's no cowards out there but a couple of hard hits early in the game(on the recievers) will have them thinking.
It seemed like the Ravens cover guys played the recievers tight to get a good hit off the line.

BlastFurnace 12-04-2007 10:02 PM

Re: Steelers' Smith thinks DBs can handle Moss and Co.
 
I have no problem with what Smith said. I will have a problem with him if he goes out there and gets personal fouls due to trash talking or late hits.

Our boys should have confidence going into the game. I don't know if they will win....but I certainly don't want them taking the field scared.

Steel_Bus_24 12-04-2007 11:11 PM

Re: Steelers' Smith thinks DBs can handle Moss and Co.
 
Faulk out of the backfield, Ben Watson and Welker are the true threats. Farrior and Foote are going to have to have a hell of a game in covering those sneaky bastards over the middle.

Steel Pit 12-05-2007 01:35 AM

Re: Steelers' Smith thinks DBs can handle Moss and Co.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Steel_Bus_24 (Post 334033)
Faulk out of the backfield, Ben Watson and Welker are the true threats. Farrior and Foote are going to have to have a hell of a game in covering those sneaky bastards over the middle.

You said it all right there Bro. That freaking Faulk out of the backfield is my main concern. Man, I don't know why defenses let him slip into the flats without covering him. Faulk will often times act as if he's staying in to pass block, he'll chuck a defender and then run to the open flats. The Steelers will have to watch him closely.

Watson over the middle is a threat as well, especially during play action.

Welker is the only Patriots WR with balls enough to consistently catch passes over the middle. Moss is afraid to make "running catches" over the middle. Sure, he'll make a leaping catch if there's not a safety in front of him but the bottom line is that Moss is afraid of contact. Contain his streak routes and Moss is basically non-existent.

Preacher 12-05-2007 02:00 AM

Re: Steelers' Smith thinks DBs can handle Moss and Co.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by BlastFurnace (Post 334009)
I have no problem with what Smith said. I will have a problem with him if he goes out there and gets personal fouls due to trash talking or late hits.

Our boys should have confidence going into the game. I don't know if they will win....but I certainly don't want them taking the field scared.

I will have NO PROBLEM with two penalties from smith in the first quarter... each keeping a drive alive even... for late hits.

WHy?

Because those two hits, very well may win us the game in the fourth when Moss and company hears footsteps and curls up into a little ball!

Yeah... You make the hit, take the punishment, and do it again to teach a lesson.

A penalty isn't bad at all if it is directed at the right person at the right time.


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